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Navy and Marine Corps Medical News 
MN-00-41 

October 13, 2000 

Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly 
compendium of news and information contributed by commands 
throughout the Navy medical department . Information contained in 
MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of 
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered 
official Navy policy. 

BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their 
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps 
families. Further distribution is highly encouraged. 

Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy 
medical professional 's name to show affiliation: MC — Medical 
Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse Corps; MSC - 
Medical Service Corps (clinicians , researchers and 
administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and Dental 
Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of their names. 
-USN- 

Contents for this week's MEDNEWS: 

— The Navy's 225th anniversary message 

— Anthrax vaccination program moves forward 

— Military retirees get dental plan with more bite 

— Nutrition goes shopping at the commissary 

— Anthrax question and answer 

— TRICARE question and answer 

— Healthwatch: Good posture boosts energy 

-USN- 

Stories 

Headline: The Navy's 225th anniversary message 

By The Honorable Richard Danzig, Secretary of the Navy 

For 225 years our Navy has always been there for America, 
and in fact, is older than the American republic itself. 

Over these years, the most tumultuous in human history, 
more than 170 nations have emerged or disintegrated. 

The founding fathers realized at the earliest stages of 
their great work that creating and preserving a new nation would 
require the capabilities unique to naval force, and they saw fit 
to place into federal service the first America sailors and 
ships . 

Since then, we have never failed to live up to our awesome 
responsibilities . In fact, over this period we have increased 
our power, influence and relevance to the point where what was 
once a small force is now universally recognized as the world's 



greatest Navy. 

While the size and shape of our Navy has changed 
dramatically throughout our history, the demand for our services 
has not waned. Throughout this evolution, the secret to our 
success has been a willingness to change while adhering to our 
core identity and values. 

This philosophy has guided us through the reliable 
performance of our duties during times of peace and war, and 
will be the key to our continued success in the years ahead. 

Birthdays are a time for joy and celebration. A 225th 
anniversary is especially to be savored. Happy birthday Navy. 

-USN- 

Headline: Anthrax vaccination program moves forward 

By Staff Sgt . Kathleen T. Rhem, American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON - DoD officials still feel strongly that the 
Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program is necessary to protect 
U.S. forces, but they are examining different ways to acquire 
needed stocks of the vaccine. 

"The department has moved toward alternative strategies for 
vaccine acquisition, " said Charles Cragin, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "We realize that while 
the current vaccine is the most effective protection available 
against this lethal weapon, we must continually explore means to 
improve that protection . " 

He said the department is working to reduce its reliance on 
BioPort Corp. as the only source of the vaccine approved by the 
Food and Drug Administration . 

"We are seeking to identify a second source for 
manufacturing the anthrax vaccine that can share the product 
license with BioPort, " he said, noting that DoD has received 
five "expressions of interest" thus far. The department will 
analyze the cost, schedule and technical feasibility of each of 
these. 

"We admit (that the current) situation, where there is a 
single source of the anthrax vaccine, is not the most optimal 
position for the department, " said Anna Johnson— Winegar, Acting 
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs . 

DoD is also restricting further payments to BioPort to only 
those items "deemed allowable to comply with both good 
government fiscal practices and congressional direction, " Cragin 
said. 

BioPort has been widely criticized for its failure to earn 
FDA approval to manufacture anthrax vaccine after retooling its 
plant and vaccine manufacturing process in 1998. Cragin stressed 
that this poses no danger to service members, because the 
vaccine being administered today comes from previously approved 
batches manufactured by the plant ' s previous owner, the Michigan 
Department of Public Health. 

It is the shortage of this previously approved vaccine that 
has caused DoD to scale back its vaccination schedule. 

DoD experts are also working to develop a completely 
different vaccine that would protect against several biological 
warfare agents. Cragin said the fiscal 2001 budget provides for 



research funds, but didn't say when such research might be 
expected to yield results. 

FDA official Mark Elengold explained the recent controversy 
over the discovery of squalene, a naturally occurring substance 
that boosts immune response, in certain batches of the anthrax 
vaccine. Both DoD and the FDA had previously contended there was 
no squalene in the vaccine, but more recent tests detected 
minute amounts. 

-USN- 

Headline: Military retirees get dental plan with more bite 
By Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON - Military retirees asked for a more 
comprehensive dental plan, and now they have one. 

As a result of retiree feedback, the enhanced TRICARE 
Retiree Dental Program went into effect this month and adds more 
than 100 new procedures and extends eligibility criteria, said 
Navy Capt . Lawrence McKinley, TRICARE senior consultant for 
dentistry . 

The new program supersedes one started in February 1998 
that augmented "space-available" retiree dental care at military 
hospitals and clinics. 

"The basic TRDP didn't cover all the dental needs of the 
retired community, " McKinley said. After listening to retirees 
and cataloging their needs and requests over the past 18 months, 
he said. Delta Dental Plan of California, the insurance 
administrator; the TRICARE Management Activity; and the dental 
service chiefs worked together to determine the best program 
possible while keeping the premium costs affordable. 

Eligible beneficiaries include: military retirees, 
including those over age 65; reserve members entitled to retired 
pay, but under age 60; Spouses of retirees; children under age 
21, or full-time students under age 23; a nonremarried surviving 
spouse or eligible child of a deceased member or member who died 
while on active duty for more than 30 days and who aren't 
eligible for the TRICARE Dental Program. 

The enhanced dental program also offers expanded 
eligibility, McKinley said. Now, members can enroll a spouse or 
child without enrolling themselves provided they have documented 
proof that they are: eligible to receive dental care from the 
Department of Veterans Affairs; enrolled in an employers ' dental 
plan that isn 't available to family members ; Unable to obtain 
benefits from the TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan due to a current 
and enduring medical or dental condition . 

McKinley, a Navy Dental Corps officer since 1971, said the 
114 new procedures make the enhanced TRICARE plan "a very 
comprehensive dental program now. " New services include crowns 
and bridges, full and partial dentures, orthodontics , and 
allowance for composite— resin — white fillings in the back 
teeth, a second annual cleaning, and dental accident coverage 
for traumatic injury. 

The only things not covered in the new program are certain 
extremely expensive procedures such as dental implants, he 
added. 



The new services come at a price. Beneficiaries will pay 
about double for the enhanced coverage under the new dental 
plan, McKinley said. Monthly premiums, dependent upon geographic 
region, range from $21 to $34 for one person; $40 to $65 for 
two; and $62 to $105 for a family of three or more. 

The rates are good until Jan. 31, 2003, when new contract 
bids are scheduled. However, additional DoD— directed 
enhancements could increase those premiums. 

"We asked beneficiaries through surveys whether they would 
be willing to pay more for an enhanced program, and 62 percent 
said yes, " McKinley said. "In fact, over 20 percent said they 
would be willing to pay more than double the old premium for an 
enhanced program. 

So far, 45, 000 people have signed up for the enhanced 
program, McKinley said. Those enrolled agree to stay with the 
program for at least 24 months. New enrollees who change their 
minds can quit within the first 30 days provided they haven 't 
used any program benefits . 

To determine eligibility for the enhanced TRICARE Retiree 
Dental Program, or monthly premium rates per region, call 
Enrollment Services toll-free at 1 (888) 838-8737. Visit the 
TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan Web site at www.ddpdelta.org for 
more information. 

-USN- 

Nutrition goes shopping at the commissary 
By Rod Duren, Naval Hospital Pensacola 

PENSACOLA, Fla. — If you go grocery shopping on an empty 
stomach, the contents of your checking account are the only 
thing that ' s guaranteed to get thinner. 

So, would you like to know how to select healthier foods, 
or maybe even spend less money on groceries? What about some 
tips on buying and eating tasty and nutritious foods? 

The Naval Hospital Pensacola Medical Nutrition Therapy 
Department and the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) have entered 
into an agreement allowing the medical facility to set up inside 
the food store to provide nutrition information to customers. 

Joan Drawdy, Naval Hospital Registered Dietician, 
provides information to customers suggesting best food 
purchases, moderation and how to improve choices. 

Dowdy is at the commissary three days a week, at varying 
times in order to reach different populations. 

"Joan is very popular with our shoppers, and adds a 
valuable facet to many customers ' visits to the store, " said 
Bill Cochrane, Acting Commissary Store Director 

Drawdy has been helping commissary shoppers consider 
reducing their fat intake by providing brand— neutral information 
on various products, and suggesting changes to their eating 
habits. 

"It 's been working pretty well, " said Drawdy "There 's been 
a few people who put back some of the high- fat dairy foods after 
we've had a few moments in discussion about it, " she said. 

But Drawdy insists she '11 discuss any nutrition topic with 
customers from fiber and soy products to functional foods. 



"One gentleman came by the commissary booth recently to 
tell me he'd decided to do something about his weight and eating 
lifestyle. He'd lost 25 pounds in a rather short period of time 
and planned to continue his healthy lifestyle, " said Drawdy. 

As the program develops, she will continue to look for ways 
to increase patient nutrition services and information to all 
Department of Defense eligible customers in the region. 

-USN- 

Headline: Anthrax question and answer 

Question: Should men who get vaccinated delay fathering a 
child? 

Answer: No. There is no reason for a man to delay fathering 
a child after vaccination. 

-USN- 

Headline: TRICARE question and answer 

Question: Does the copayment increase for the emergency 

room? 

Answer: For eligible beneficiaries, there are no out-of- 
pocket costs for any care received at a military hospital, 
including emergency room care. The out-of-pocket costs for care 
received at a civilian emergency room for families of E-4 and 
below enrolled in Prime is $10. For families of E—5 and above 
and retirees and their families, the copay for an emergency room 
visit is $30. This single payment, $10 or $30, includes all 
emergency room services provided in conjunction with the visit . 
For those who have chosen to remain in TRICARE Standard, or use 
the TRICARE Extra program, their regular deductibles and 
copayment s apply. 

-USN- 

Headline: Healthwatch: Good posture boosts energy 
From Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

WASHINGTON - You may think it 's more comfortable and 
restful to slouch while using your keyboard or to lean on your 
desk with your elbows while reading. But in the long run, it 
isn 't. 

In fact, poor posture, the stress of leaning over paperwork 
and straining to peer at computer screens may eventually cause 
muscle tension, stiffness, backaches, neck cramps, and fatigue. 
Such habits can even lead to more serious problems, such as 
spine disorders or pinched nerves. 

Slouching can overstretch the ligaments that support your 
spine. Cradling a telephone receiver between your head and 
shoulder can give you a stiff, sore neck. Sitting in one 
position for long periods can reduce circulation in your 
muscles, increasing fatigue and stiffness and setting you up for 
injury. 

Here are the major components of healthy— and energizing— 
posture: Whether sitting or standing, keep your ears, shoulders 
and hips stacked in a straight line to keep the natural curves 
of your spine in its normal, balanced alignment . Adjust your 
chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a 



footstool . Avoid crossing your legs. 

Slide your chair under your desk so you won 't have to lean 
too far forward. If your chair is at a comfortable height, your 
knees will be level with or slightly lower than your hips. 
Support your lower back with the back of your chair. 

For additional support use a cushion, lumbar roll or rolled 
up towel and place it in the small of your back. Place books and 
papers in a book stand or document holder the same distance from 
you as your computer screen. Make sure such documents and the 
computer screen are at or slightly below eye level . 

Do not cradle the telephone receiver between your head and 
shoulder, use a headset or speakerphone or simply hold it to 
your ear with your hand. Stretch about once an hour. Avoid 
staying in one position for hours at a time. Stand up, breathe 
deeply, stretch and shake out the kinks. 

Just a few minutes an hour should stimulate circulation and 
keep you limber. You may accomplish a lot at work despite bad 
posture, but you '11 get a surprising energy boost and be able to 
accomplish even more when you practice good posture. Good 
posture contributes to deep breathing, healthy organ function 
and good circulation-all great energy boosters. It may take a 
little practice, but the return in comfort and energy will go a 
long way toward helping you look and feel your best. 

-USN- 

Comments and ideas for MEDNEWS are welcome . Story 
Submissions are highly encouraged. Contact MEDNEWS editor. 
At email: mednews@us.med.navy.mil; telephone 202—762—3218, 
(dsn) 762, or fax 202-762-3224. 

-USN-